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Noncompete agreements in Massachusetts: an update

This is a follow-up to piece we did last month on noncompete agreements.

As we noted in our March 27 post, there are many factors that affect the enforceability of noncompete clauses in employment contracts.

In this follow-up, we will take note of a column today in the business section of the Boston Globe on this topic.

The column essentially contends that noncompete agreements have become overused by employers. It notes that there are even rumblings in the Legislature about a bill to reign in or even ban such agreements.

In the post-Great Recession economy, more and more businesses have come to insist on noncompetes in the contracts of new hires. This has occurred across a range of industries and has obvious implications for employment mobility.

As we noted in our post last month, restricting that mobility isn’t only a concern for individual employees. The restrictions they face on where and when they can practice their craft also affect the dynamics of the economy as a whole.

This is because a dynamic economy requires a healthy amount of employment movement. Too many noncompetes, done too indiscriminately, may undercut that.

It remains to be seen whether Massachusetts will take legislative action on noncompetes. But we will continue to follow the issue in this blog.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Time to get rid of 'noncompete' agreements," Scott Kirsner, April 18, 2014

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